One of my favorite ways to road-trip is to travel with the best podcasts. Podcasts are radio on-demand and are a great way to gain wisdom, insight, and inspiration while waiting to get to your destination. Since some of us are taking road trips this coming holiday, I thought I would introduce you to my favorite podcasts. And what better way to get acquainted with the best podcasts on a travel blog than by hearing the hosts’ stories about traveling. I spoke with Robert Krulwich of Radiolab–a show where science meets philosophy and was the first podcast I fell in love with–and Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income–which teaches listeners how they can work hard now so they can reap the benefits later. Please enjoy Robert’s Lost in Translation moment in Italy and Pat’s story about finding inspiration in Hawaii.
Here’s Robert Krulwich of Radiolab
My wife is good at languages, so when we travel she does most of the talking because she does most of the understanding. That’s why I am often reduced to a mute-like, smiling presence, while she asks for directions, orders meals, chats with busdrivers, makes friends. After a few days of just standing around, I sometimes rebel, and become, for a short time, dangerously outgoing, and very conversational even though I don’t know the language. What I do know, is how to speak English, laced with local words, helped by gesture, spoken with a Spanish or French or Italian accent to help the locals get the gist of what I am saying. Some of the time, amazingly, this works. Most of the time, it doesn’t.
One time, we were in Italy, and I decided to buy a shirt. I found one I liked, pointed to it, and asked, in my highly accented Italo-English, how much it cost. The clerk nodded, I don’t know why, and then mentioned some staggering sum, and I, wanting my wife to see I’m no slouch in the haggling department, fell back, and made Italian-like gagging noises to indicate that price was much too high. He’d said what sounded like17,000 lira, so I countered with 10 or 11. He looked at me like I was out of my mind, and so I just repeated the number,”11!” He looked at me, disbelieving. I moved up a notch, to 12, meaning 12,000 lira. He then brought his hands to his neck and made his own gagging noises, which I interpreted as some sort of “you’re killing me” gesture, a preliminary to what I figured would be his counter offer. But he didn’t change his number, so I didn’t change mine. There we were, stuck at 12. He then gagged again and made that hands at the throat gesture, looking now pleadingly at my wife–who just smiled.
So I relented, just a little, and proposed “Thirteen!” To my amazement, he shook his head, surrendered, stooped down behind the counter, and pulled up my very shirt, sized for a little boy. It was a shirt for someone 9 years old. He slid it across the counter and looked at me. “What’s this?” I asked.
“It’s what you say,” he said in English.
“What does he mean?” I asked my wife.
That’s when my wife, leaned over and said, “You’ve been bargaining down your neck size.”
Now when we travel to some place where I don’t speak the language, she talks, I smile. It’s better that way.
Now Listen to Pat Flynn of The Smart Passive Income
If you want to travel with the best podcasts, upload these to your Smart Phone.
This American Life- I still don’t see how television is better
The Moth- Stories told live without notes
Fresh Air with Terry Gross- Incredible interviews with high-profile celebrities and change-makers. (She makes everyone cry.)
The Best Podcasts that feature Somewhere Or Bust
If you miss me after this article, you can load me up on your listening device and hear me speak about Cambodia on the Amateur Traveler Podcast.
Photo of Radiolab hosts Jad and Robert by Jared Kelly
Photo of Pat Flynn by BlogWorld & TBEX